Where does Israel's early education rank among other OECD countries?

The study is especially important as Israel ranks highly with its fertility rate, and percentage of children below the age of four-years-old.

Preschool children from the southern city of Ashkelon, celebrating with the Israeli flag, on 18 April, 2010 the Independence Day. (photo credit: EDI ISRAEL/FLASH90)
Preschool children from the southern city of Ashkelon, celebrating with the Israeli flag, on 18 April, 2010 the Independence Day.
(photo credit: EDI ISRAEL/FLASH90)
Walking down the street in Israel, you see mothers with multiple children almost everywhere you go. It's no secret that Israel has a higher fertility rate than other countries, in fact a 2019 study done by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel proved it. In light of this, the same center examined the quality of the early childhood education in Israel those children are receiving compared to that of other OECD countries. 
Included in the study were topics such as the quality of maternity leave, percentage of working mother with young children, the percentage of young children in Israel who attended early education facilities and the quality of their environment while they were there.
These topics are especially important in light of Israel's high fertility rate, which stands at 3.1 children per woman, compared to 1.6 on average in other OECD countries. Additionally, the percentage of children under the age of four is also higher in Israel as it is almost double that of other countries in the organization; 10.3% compared to 5.8%.
While maternity leave in Israel is shorter than other OECD countries, 15 weeks compared to 18 weeks, maternity pay in Israel covers 100% salary, whereas other countries only pay a partial percentage. 
Following maternity leave, mothers return to work. Unlike other developed countries, where the employment rate of mothers of children aged 0–2 is lower than the employment rate of mothers of children aged 3–5, the employment rates in Israel are quite similar: 70% and 75%, respectively.
This leads to comparing participation of children aged 0-2, and 3-5 in early childhood education facilities in Israel versus other OECD countries.
Israel leads in participation of young children in all early ages: the percentage of participating children in Israel under aged 0-2 in educational settings is 56%, compared with an average of 35% in OECD countries, while in Israel participation of children aged 3-5 is 31%, compared with an average of 9% in the other developed countries.
The amount of time children spend in these facilities in Israel is also higher than other OCED countries. 
Taub Center researcher Dana Vaknin estimates that Israeli children spend about 30 to 40 hours a week in early childhood education, and according to other sources, the number of hours is as high as 50. In all these estimates, the number of hours per week is very high compared to other OECD countries.
With the amount of time that Israeli children spend in these facilities being higher than other OCED countries, the question remains how the quality of these educational facilities rank among other counties in the organization. 
The quality of early childhood education frameworks is usually measured through the ratio between the number of children to number of caregivers, the background in education and the level of training of the staff members, and the quality of the educational processes in the aforementioned frameworks.
Vaknin analyzed the results of the Teaching and Learning International (TALIS) Survey for 2018 to measure Israel's performance in these indices compared to other participating countries; Denmark; Chile; Germany; Iceland; Japan; South Korea; Turkey And Norway.
Beginning with ratio of children to caregivers, Israel ranks the lowest in terms of quality, as the ratio is high both in Hebrew and Arabic-speaking facilities and is measured at 50% more children to 23% fewer staff members compared to the countries who participated in the TALIS survey.
However, in spite of this low ranking, 95% of caregivers in Israel have higher education, while 70% of care-giving staff assistants hold a higher education certificate compared to 25% of assistant staff in other OCED countries. 
This leaves the quality of the education itself. Public investment in early childhood care for children aged 0–2 in Israel is among the lowest in OECD countries, and while public spending in Israel for children aged 3–5 is higher, it is still among the lowest among developed countries.
Studies show that the number of years children spend in early childhood education is a good predictor of academic achievement later in life. Moreover, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds may benefit more from participation in early childhood education settings in terms of their cognitive development. However, the likelihood of being in such settings for more than two years is lower.
In comparing the rate of children from lower income backgrounds attending early education facilities in children from higher income backgrounds, Israel ranks well. Some 87% of children from low income backgrounds and 94% of children from high income backgrounds have been in these settings for more than two years.
Despite this however, Israel ranks on a lower level among OECD countries when comparing the amount of children who stayed in early education facilities for more than two years, versus children who did not; the two year marker indicating future academic success. The gap in Israel is measured around 39 points, according to the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) test, compared to other an average of 15 point in other developed countries. 
A future study by the Taub Center for the Study of Development and Inequality in Early Childhood will examine whether early childhood education frameworks in Israel promote the educational achievements of children in the short and long term.